This straightforward and uncomplicated Thai Chicken Stir Fry is extremely easy to prepare and even quicker to cook. With the addition of some fresh Thai basil and some fresh red chillies as well as some fish sauce, you'll soon have, not only a delicious dish but you'll also get an excellent introduction to Thai cuisine. More than that, it will unquestionably get all of your taste buds tingling.
1 Pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces)
4 Garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
4 Fresh red chillies (seeded and finely chopped)
12 Fresh Thai basil leaves
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons *Nam Pla (fish sauce)
2 Teaspoons soy sauce
1 Teaspoon sugar
2 Fresh red chillies (seeded and thinly sliced)
20 Fresh Thai basil leaves (deep fried)
*Nam Pla is a fish sauce made from salted anchovies which are placed into wooden barrels for fermentation to occur. The sauce itself does not actually impart a fishy flavour, but it does accentuate the taste of food.
1) Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until the garlic is golden brown.
2) Add the chicken pieces to the mixture and continue to stir-fry until the chicken changes in colour and texture.
3) Add Nam pla fish paste, soy sauce and sugar and stir the mixture for another 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked in the sauce.
4) Stir in the 12 fresh Thai basil leaves, then remove from wok or frying pan and place in individual serving dishes or a warm serving platter.
5) Deep fry the remaining 20 fresh Thai basil leaves briefly for 30 or 40 minutes in some fresh vegetable oil until they become crisp and slightly translucent. Lift out the leaves with a slotted spoon or wire basket and leave to drain on a paper towel.
6) Garnish the Thai chicken stir fry with the fried basil leaves along with the remaining fresh thinly sliced red chillies. Why not serve with a nice Green Papaya Salad or a vegetable stir fry for extra enjoyment.
PS make sure the Thai basil leaves are dry before adding to the oil.
A good type of wok to use for Thai chicken stir fry is a lightweight carbon steel one. These woks are far more suitable for Asian cooking than their heavier cast iron brothers or their stainless and aluminium sisters. Best of all, carbonised steel woks are also less expensive than their counterparts.
Just remember, though, that a new carbon steel wok must be seasoned before use. The best way to do this is to first place the wok over a high heat until the surface blackens then wash in some warm soapy water. You need to use a course cleaning pad or a stiff wire brush to clean the wok. Rinse the wok well with clean water and allow to dry over a medium heat.
Finally, wipe the surface with vegetable oil using a paper towel. Please do not use any detergent after each use, only wash the wok under the hot water tap. This will ensure that the wok stays seasoned and rust free. Allow to dry before adding a little vegetable oil and then store.
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